From Hilary Barry to Jeremy Cor­bett, 15 high-pro­file Ki­wis share why they’re sup­port­ing the NEXT cam­paign to close the pay gap

It’s high time women were paid on a par with men, so we’ve asked some high-pro­file Ki­wis to start the con­ver­sa­tion around clos­ing the gap. Here are their thoughts

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An­to­nia Preb­ble

Ac­tress

As far as I know I haven’t been af­fected by pay in­equal­ity per­son­ally, but I know of other New Zealand ac­tresses who have been, so we are not free of the prob­lem here.

We pride our­selves on be­ing a coun­try that is fair and just. The gen­der pay gap is nei­ther fair nor just, so I think Ki­wis would def­i­nitely sup­port rem­e­dy­ing this is­sue so that it is more aligned with New Zealand’s val­ues.

This is not a new prob­lem. Ever since women joined the work­force we’ve known they get paid less than men, but I feel now we’re look­ing at that is­sue through a new lens, with re­newed vigour. We need to har­ness this mo­men­tum and use it to en­sure that real, per­ma­nent change takes place. We need to con­tinue to talk about it to keep the is­sue in the fore­front of our minds, and or­gan­i­sa­tions must look at their in­ter­nal struc­tures and rem­edy any pay in­equal­ity.

There are many di­men­sions to the long-term ef­fects of the pay gap, but I think one of the most in­sid­i­ous is the im­pact it has on how we value women in gen­eral and, there­fore how women value them­selves. If our pay cheque says we are not as good, not as wor­thy, not as valu­able as a man, then that trick­les down into how we view our worth in a gen­eral sense. That in turn leads to low­ered self-es­teem and the all-too-fa­mil­iar im­poster syn­drome.

Hilary Barry

Co-host Seven Sharp

Like many other women, there have been times in my ca­reer when I was af­forded fewer op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause I was a woman. It took courage but in the end I did some­thing about it and told my boss it wasn’t fair. It’s hard to stand up for your­self and I think, as women, it’s some­thing we need to be less afraid of and learn to do bet­ter and more ef­fec­tively.

We need a will­ing­ness from all po­lit­i­cal and busi­ness lead­ers to help put this right. Re­dress­ing the gen­der pay gap ben­e­fits all of us, and work­ing to­gether to solve it is the best way.

Fail­ing to close the gen­der pay gap will mean fewer women in the work­force and in mean­ing­ful work. It would mean a lot of women never reach­ing their po­ten­tial and the New Zealand econ­omy fail­ing to cap­i­talise on that un­tapped po­ten­tial. When a woman knows she’s not be­ing paid the same as a man for equal work, it af­fects her self-es­teem and her men­tal health. That’s un­ac­cept­able.

Clos­ing the gen­der pay gap ben­e­fits us all, so it should be an is­sue that’s im­por­tant to all New Zealan­ders. We were the first coun­try in the world to give women the vote. Why not the first to close the pay gap?

‘Re­dress­ing the pay gap ben­e­fits

us all’

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